Jimmy Make Danishes – Cute Manly Food

‘Sup ladies! It’s me, Jimmy!

When I was a just a young lad growing up deep in the heart of Texas my mom would buy these 24 packs of danishes from the Auchan Hypermarket, which from my memory was like a European-y Costco. Granted I have sustained quite a few serious head injuries and more electrocutions than I care to/could remember since then, so I may be wrong. The place that she bought them from isn’t really integral to the story, so I’m just going to move it along here before I start ranting about how there should be more buy in bulk places in Australia…which there should be.

Just imagine a bag of 24 of the most delicious assorted fruit danishes you have ever had in your life. Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, flavours like apple cinnamon, cherry and blueberry drizzled in streams of icing sugar icing and half of them have this soft and creamy cheese filling nestled in between the  fruit and pastry. Now image getting to have these fresh from the oven whenever you want for breakfast for 9 years, then you move overseas where they think a danish is a glazed apricot on a tombstone of store bought puff pastry. DISAPPOINTED!!!!!

 

So regular readers will know that last year Violet and I went to Europe for a work vacation and while we were staying in a little cottage on Lake Tittisee (heeheehee) in Germany they had a literal smorgasbord for breakfast! Violet and I aren’t what you would call early risers so when we got there at 10:30ish most of the food was gone but in one of the baskets there was one little solitary danish, waiting to be experienced. I quickly dove for the basket, elbowing one or two old ladies out of the way and claimed it as my own! Back at the table, my fingers trembled as I brought the pastry to my mouth and  then BAM! Memories of my childhood came rushing back to me! Being late for school, watching Angry Beavers Marathons with my little brother, opening presents on Christmas morning! Then, heartbreak, I realised that this was the last one and judging by the fact that they were cleaning up, they wouldn’t be bringing  out any more. I let Violet have a bite so she could taste what ambrosia tastes like, but she wasn’t impressed. I’m not going to lie, I thought about leaving her right then and there. We left Germany that day and went back to Switzerland where our breakfasts comprised mainly of cured meats, cheese and yoghurt.

And that brings us to today! Being driven mad by lack of sleep thanks to relentless nightmares of being just out of reach of sexy pastries I decided to take it upon my self to try and make my own! Also for some reason we had fruit in the house and it needed to be eaten before it spoilt.

You will need the following!

  • About 125-250g of cream cheese, depending on how cheesey you like your danishes
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp (or capfull) of vanilla extract
  • Splash of lemon juice (I used lime because I didn’t have lemon and figured citrus is citrus)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

It’s basically a runny version of a cheesecake mixture.

In a kitchen aid, cream together the cream cheese, salt and sugar.
It should look like this:
Then add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix together.
Now prepare your fruit. I wanted two kinds of apples, sliced and diced and diced cherries.
For the diced apple, pop the wedges in a food processor.
Done!
Then add some brown sugar, white sugar, flour, lemon juice (I found half a lemon in the fridge, call me Mr. Lucky!) cinnamon and nutmeg to the sliced apple.
I made 4 different types because even if they tasted terrible they sure would look pretty! the photos should be fairly self-explanatory.
Now pipe the cheese mixture in to the centre of your store-bought puff pasty. Time for a mini rant! I see that in ‘merica you can buy all kinds of frozen pastry in all kinds of forms from all kinds of brands. One example that comes to mind is crescent dough which is freaking delicious but very time consuming to make. Here, we have NOTHING!!!! We have 6 sheets of puff pastry, 6 sheets of shortcrust pastry and sometimes pre-made frozen vol-au-vents. THAT’S BALLS!!!! Not only is the selection crap, it tastes like crap too! /rant
Now bake for about 20 minutes at 180ish centigrade! Professional, huh? I’m one of those people who sits in front of the over the whole time something is baking so I can keep an eye on things, so you know, check up on it every now and then.
Tadaa! To answer your question, no, they didn’t taste like home, but they did all get eaten! Mix some confectioners sugar with a little milk and pipe lines and swirls and maybe a giraffe fighting a t-rex on top to sweeten the pastry.  You can fancy them up a little more by brushing an egg wash onto the pastry before you pop them in the oven and if you do end up icing the giraffe-dino fight send me a photo because that sounds awesome.

White Hot Chocolate Recipe – Cute Food

Today let’s make something yummy and perfect for this time of year (in Aus anyway…) white hot chocolate!

For this recipe you will need:

  • White chocolate
  • Double cream
  • Milk
  • Milk frother is optional but awesome

Break up the white chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl. I used 8 piece because I loooove white chocolate.
Melt it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it’s totally liquid.
Add in a large teaspoon of double cream.
Stir very vigorously until it’s smooth and it will become white chocolate ganache. Eat some… because it’s delicious!
Now let’s make it into a drink! I used my milk frother to make cappuccino foam.
The milk should be warm at this point too. If you don’t have a frother then just warm the milk on your stove or carefully in the microwave.
Put the white chocolate into your mug.
Pour in the milk a little at a time and stir until it’s combined.
Add the foam on top of that.
I was feeling fancy so I added some pink sprinkles too. That turned out to be a mistake as all they did was burst the foam and sink into the milk XD
Delicious and SO sweet!
Good luck not having cavities by the end of this one! I like to drink this with something salty and savoury like chips because it’s just that sweet. So good though!!
Hope you enjoyed the recipe and let me know if you give it a try!

Lottie’s Favorite Dog Treats Recipe

Today I’ll show you guys the recipe for Lottie’s favourite dog biscuits! You can see, she will do pretty much anything for them…

I had wanted to make her treats for a long time but she wasn’t very interested in a lot of the ingredients that most of the ones I found online had. I ended up making a hybrid and adding things she loves. Obviously if your dog has dietary concerns you should adjust as needed and please do check with your vet before giving your dog anything new.
You need:
  • Large can of tuna (around 180g)
  • Half a jar of peanut butter (around 80g)
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of flour
  • A little water

In a mixing bowl add the oats…
The flour…
The tuna (including the juice)…
And the peanut butter.
Mix it together into a big ball.
It needs to be sticky enough to roll out and cut into cookies so if it’s too brittle to roll then add a little bit of water.
Knead into a big ball.
And then roll out to around 1cm thick.
Cut into appropriately dog-themed shapes.
And pop them in the oven at 150 for around 20 minutes or until they dry out and are hard to the touch.
While they are baking, you might have someone who would like to help clean up and lick the spoon.
They look pretty much the same when cooked.
Let them cool before giving to Lottie so she doesn’t burn her little tongue.
Now see how many tricks you can make her do in one go!
Hope you enjoyed this as much as Lottie did, let me know if you try it out for your dog!

Polka Dot Daisy Bee Cake Adventures

I’m so obsessed with cake decorating at the moment. The weather has been way too hot to really bake properly without things melting but for whatever reason I just keep doing it anyway >_>

My latest cake creation was this daisy bee cake.

It uses a technique that I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while: hidden designs. I decided to just go with an easy version for my first time and did polka dots.

I’m not going to do a full recipe but this is basically how I did it.

To begin with I made a pink raspberry cake and cooked it.

Raspberry cake!
I removed the outside and mushed up the middle. It was totally delicious and soft!
Then I smooshed them into balls. I tried not to press them too hard so the texture of the cake didn’t change too much.
Next I made the yellow lemon cake batter.
Once the lemon batter was in the tins I pressed the raspberry balls inside so they were floating as different levels.
I was using a new cake recipe and they rose far more than expected!
While the cakes were cooling in the fridge I made the decorations.
The daisies were pressed out of sugar gum paste.
Then I painted the centre of each one yellow by hand using food coloring.
Once the cake was ready for icing I made some green butter cream and coated it.
It was so hot that day that the butter cream kept melting so I had to put it in the freezer every few minutes to reset. After it was hard enough I covered it completely with daisies. I also made the little bees for the top out of modelling chocolate. Their wings needed to be more solid so they were out of gum paste too.
Poor bees, they were very melty too! I think it’s not really possible to do good work with modelling chocolate in the Australian Summer if you don’t have air conditioning ;_;
So anyway the point of this cake is that when you cut into it and you cut through the raspberry balls you will get a cool polkadot pattern.
Delicious!
Now I’m a bit more confident with this idea I’d like to branch out more into other designs like leopard print or stars/hearts/whatever.
Poor decapitated bees XD
I hope you enjoyed my cake adventures!

Ultimate Floral Rice Crispy Squares

A while ago I wanted to test out all of the decorating supplies that James had gotten for me so I set out to make epic rice crispy squares. EPIC!

I had way too much fun decorating these!

The decorating part was really more important than the eating part of this project but let’s start at the beginning anyway!
Basic rice crispy ingredients:
  • 60g Butter
  • 1 packet of marshmallows (250g)
  • 7 cups of rice bubbles
Melt the butter in a pot and then stir the marshmallows in on a low heat. You can see they will gradually melt. Keep stirring until it’s a big mush of goo and then add the rice bubbles gradually.
Make sure to work quickly or else it will get too hard to stir.
Pour it out into a greased pan and leave it in the fridge to set. I like to smoosh the top down hard with another pan to get a really clean finish.
Once it’s set, take it out of the pan and cut it into little even cubes.
It can be very difficult to cut though so be carful.
From here I basically decided to turn each square into a little cake. To make a smooth surface I iced each one with buttercream and put it back in the fridge.
While they were cooling off I made the marshmallow fondant. Marshmallow fondant is basically marshmallows and a really large amount of icing sugar!
I microwaved the mashmallows until they melted and then put them in my mixer with a cup of icing sugar.
You pretty much continue adding icing sugar until it starts resembling a dough.
Done! Don’t forget to dust the surface you’re going to use with icing sugar so it doesn’t get all sticky!
I separated it into 4 pieces and added a different flavour to each. I used raspberry, lime, lemon and rose.
For each cube, roll out a piece of the fondant.
And lay it over the cube.
Pinch the sides and press them into nice crisp shapes.
While those cool in the fridge it’s time to make the bigger decorations! Most of the decorations I made were out of sugar gum paste and made using these little press stamps.
All you need to do is press them into rolled out fontant/gum paste/whatever and then shape the leaves a bit more if you like.
Easy!
I also made piped icing roses. I did a full tutorial on them here.
Now to put it all together, I used royal icing around the edges of each cube and then added a heap of flowers haha!
I also covered them in edible glitter… because… glitter.
They were incredibly sweet and the 35C heat made them quite melty but it was a really fun project to practice my skills on!
They took quite a while to make… so here are a billion photos  😀

White Chocolate Baked Cheesecake Recipe

For last Billy Idol Day/Christmas I made white satin cheesecake for our desserts and it was one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had. Seriously White chocolate and cheesecake = total win.

My recipe was based on this recipe from the KitchenAid website with quite a few changes along the way.

You need:

Base

  • Packet of chocolate Digestive biscuits
  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup (80g) castor sugar

Filling

  • 1 block of white chocolate
  • 500g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ⅓ cup  castor sugar
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • A little lemon rind and 1 tbsp juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g vanilla yoghurt

Let’s get baking! We are making the curst first.

 

Put the biscuits into a food processor and crush them into tiny crumbs. Mix in the sugar too then pour in the butter to hold it all together.
I decided to make them in little jars rather than as a large cheesecake (more on this later) so prepare your pan/jars and preheat your oven to 160C fan forced.
Spoon some of the crust mixture into the jars and press it down a bit. Pop the jars into the fridge to cool the crust.
Make sure you have comfy shoes to bake in!
Ok, let’s get the filling ready!
Break the chocolate into chunks and melt it.
Beat the sugar and cream cheese together until they’re smooth and light. Add in the corn flour and beat again for a few seconds.
Add in the eggs next and mix thoroughly.
 Add everything else (lemon juice, vanilla and yoghurt etc) in and mix very gently.
Lastly add in the chocolate and give it one final mix. The batter should be light and about the consistency of yoghurt.
Take the jars out of the fridge and fill them with the batter. I layered the batter with more crumbs on top so you didn’t have to dig all the way through to get it. I also added some edible glitter… because I can.
Once you are ready to put them in the oven you need to prepare a pan to put them in. You will need a pan which is as deep as the cheesecake. Put them in and then fill the pan with water so it is level with the top of the cheesecake (don’t get water in the actual jars though!). This water protects the cheesecake and makes sure it is baked evenly. My pan wasn’t deep enough because the jars were very tall so the tops of my cheesecake were a bit tough whereas the parts protected with water was DELICIOUS.
Bake them in the oven for around 45 minutes then turn off the oven and open the door to let it cool gradually for another hour or so. After that, pop them into the fridge to cool properly.
Now just add some decoration and enjoy! Try to stop at eating just one, it’s pretty much impossible!
You can add in jams, berries or anything else for a flavour kick but I love the flavour of baked cheesecake plain. It’s delicious!
I want to make a really big one again now! Let me know if you try it out!
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